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California family lawyerChildren deserve to have their health and safety protected, whether they are at home, at school, or under the supervision of a daycare provider, coach, or doctor. In order to safeguard children from the threat of abuse, the state of California has put legal measures in place to ensure that potential cases of child abuse or neglect are reported and investigated. When a person is being investigated for suspected child abuse, they should understand the processes that will be followed, their rights in the investigation, and the potential outcomes.

Reports of Suspected Abuse or Neglect

According to the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), a person who reasonably suspects that a child has been the victim of abuse or neglect can make a report to a law enforcement agency. Certain “mandated reporters,” such as teachers, doctors, therapists, members of the clergy, or day care center employees, are required by law to make these reports.


California family lawyerUnder California’s Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), certain people are required to make a report to law enforcement when they reasonably suspect that a child may be the victim of abuse or neglect. These reports will trigger an investigation, and if a social worker believes that there is evidence that the alleged abuse was likely to have occurred, they will forward the substantiated report to the California Department of Justice (DOJ), and the alleged abuser will be placed on the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI).

Being listed in the CACI can have a major impact on a person’s life, affecting their ability to find employment, serve as a volunteer, adopt a child, or act as a foster parent. Fortunately, California law provides people with the ability to dispute their inclusion in the CACI.

CACI Grievance Hearings


California divorce lawyerWith Thanksgiving recently passing and the December holidays just around the corner, child custody and visitation issues may arise, especially if you, your ex-spouse or partner, and children will be celebrating separately for the first time. When these issues surface, it is imperative to clearly establish parenting time (sometimes termed “visitation”) through a formal plan.

When parents and children understand and can anticipate how and when parenting time is to occur, the stress and conflict associated with change and new arrangements will diminish rather than escalate. In meeting your child custody and parenting time needs, work together with an experienced Cupertino family law attorney.

A Parenting Plan Is a Custody and Visitation Agreement Between Parents


California family lawyerRaising a child on your own is hard work. It is one thing if you chose to be a single mother, or if the father of the child has passed away, or if there is been an amicable split resulting in sole custody. If, however, you need and deserve the support of the father of the child but are not receiving it, that is very different. It is, you will be relieved to learn, possible to obtain a child support order in a California court, compelling the child’s father to pay child support on a regular basis.

When this process becomes saddled with an unwanted layer of complexity, however, is when there is a dispute as to who is the father of the child. Obviously, only the biological father of the child may be compelled by a state court to furnish child support payments. Prerequisite to a child support order, in some cases as you have now likely deduced, is establishing paternity. Help with paternity matters of all kinds is available from a dedicated Los Gatos family law attorney.

A DNA Test May Be Used to Establish Paternity


California divorce attorneyChild custody is often an issue of paramount importance in Bay Area divorce proceedings. While each parent may already have secured stability in terms of career, health, and future plans, a child, especially if young, is still developing intellectually, physically, and emotionally. When parents divorce, the impact on these areas of a child’s development can have both short-term and long-term effects. For this, courts in California do not rely on a default framework with regard to child custody.

In other words, rather than automatically awarding custody of a child to the mother or father based on a single reason, the court considers what is in the best interests of the child. In this consideration, courts evaluate several primary factors related to the child’s wellbeing and environment. A skilled Los Gatos child custody attorney is well acquainted with these factors and how California courts weigh them.

Age, Health, Emotional Ties, and Parental Ability Are Among the Relevant Child Custody Factors in California

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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212
Los Gatos, CA 95030

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